To put it simply, your LinkedIn headline can be one of two things. It can be a strong magnet that showcases your awesomeness and irresistible value or it can be as boring as watching hair grow on a dog.
Gone are the days where LinkedIn was a tiny networking site where stuffy professionals and job seekers housed their resumes. LinkedIn is now over 575 million members strong and is erupting with a wide array of content, opportunities and growing brands. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Bye, I’m off to go see this new LinkedIn!” To that I say, hold on just a second, let’s get you equipped with some headline writing tips that will help you stand out from the crowd.
Why Focus On Creating A Powerful LinkedIn Headline?
With attention spans at an all time low, it’s never been more important to get creative in terms of marketing yourself. Despite it’s brevity, your headline can mean the difference between people wanting to learn more about you and someone saying “next” and forgetting all about you.
How To Write A Wow Inducing Headline
You want people to know you, or you wouldn’t be on LinkedIn. You want them to dance and sing your company name in the streets. But, before that can happen we’ve got to dive into some actionable steps you can take to up your headline game! So, without further ado, let’s dive into the meat of this article together.
Optimize Your Headline With Relevant Keywords
Yes, LinkedIn is a social media platform but it’s also a search engine. What you include in your headline greatly influences how you’ll show up in search results. This is why it’s worth your while to do some good old fashioned keyword research. Focus on tastefully seasoning your headline with terms that your target audience and customers would use to find you.
Also, include the keywords that are most valuable to you in your LinkedIn summary. This not only shows consistency with readers but also gives you a boost in terms of showing up in relevant searches. However, do not keyword stuff, it’s tacky and makes it difficult for people to truly take in your messaging.
Be Specific & Don’t Leave Readers Wondering
If you think your headline is rigged up to win with just a job title and company, you’re mistaken. Maybe you’ve even gone a bit further and took a moment to update your headline to ‘be more descriptive’. However, if you’ve done this by just including “coach”, “consultant” or “marketer”, you’ve left all your gold on the table.
Chances are, you serve a specific need, speak on a few unique topics or coach on a set of skill sets. Talk about them! For example, instead of just saying “consultant”, say “Leadership Development Consultant Focused On Helping C-Level Executives Leverage Emotional Intelligence To Improve Culture & Profits.”
If you leave people with questions, they’ll pass you by for another who answers them. Use your headline to make it clear what you do and who you do it for. Ask yourself, “On a platform of millions, why would someone stop and explore my profile?”
Pay Attention To How Your LinkedIn Headline Is Structured
Your headline should flow smoothly and be delivered in a cadence that’s simple to understand. If you’re like many professionals, you have multiple skill sets and probably deliver multiple services. This is a total asset, but can work against you if you don’t thoughtfully plan out how you’ll deliver it to your audience.
For example, try to avoid having a giant block of text as your headline without breaking it up into mini-segments. Use vertical lines (|), to allow people to break down your value proposition into bite sized pieces.
Couple Your LinkedIn Headline With A Quality Profile Photo
A picture is worth a thousand words and with only 120 characters allotted for your headline, you’ll need the extra thousand to make your profile pop! Surprisingly, many people either have no profile photo at all or just upload whatever.
People are visual beings and if you want to stand out you need to appeal to the senses and have a strong visual aesthetic. Psychological principles tell us that we have about 7 seconds to make a first impression and some researchers say it only takes a tenth of a second to start determining trustworthiness. Given theses truths, it’s imperative to invest in combining your breathtaking headline with a photo that makes it real.
Include Compelling Benefits & Payoffs
Let’s cut right down to the main goal for a second. If you’re on LinkedIn, you want people to complete a desired action, learn more about you and engage with you. To accomplish this, you’ve got to give people a real reason to buy what you sell and become interested in your brand. The best way to do this is to know your target audience and what’s important to them very well.
Reflect on all of the past clients you’ve had. Remember a time you had one of those prospects that asked you a hundred questions before becoming a customer. What did they ask you? What were their concerns? Give a short, sweet answer to these questions in your headline in the form of a benefit.
At the end of the day, people buy things to solve problems and to eradicate anxieties from their lives. If you can show them that you understand their pain points and you actually care about solving them, you’re in a position to win, and win big!
Add Personality & Emotional Appeal
Without personality and a human element to your headline, it’s difficult to have true pizzazz! Yes, people are interested in what you can do for them. Yes, people need to know what you do and how you do it. That being said, it’s also important to show them your quirks and unique traits.
Are you a talented chef in your spare time? Are you a motorbike racer? Why not include that in your headline to let people know that your life is more than business. People relate to life and buy from people they feel a connection to. Adding components that are personal, position you to build more meaningful relationships and make it easy for people to approach you.
Avoid Overloading Your Headline With Emojis & Symbols
Can emojis make you stand out? Sure! Are the use of emojis and symbols a good way to add flavor to your text? Absolutely! However, overdoing it can make you stand out in a negative way and dilute the quality of your image and message.
For example, let’s say you’re a leadership development consultant focused on emotional intelligence. You’d want a clear value proposition tailored towards attractive C-Level clientele.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of what to do and what not to do.
What To Do:
What Not To Do:
Now, I will admit, I went a bit absurd on this example but I assure you; it was strictly for your entertainment. As you can see, the overuse of emojis takes people’s focus off of your message and onto all of the distracting graphics that really don’t add any value to your LinkedIn headline.
Questions To Ask Yourself When Creating A Headline
Before you publish your headline to the world, it’s important to take your rough draft and polish it. The best way to do this is to have a checklist of questions that determine whether it truly serves the purpose you need it to serve. Everyone’s criteria will be different but overall many of you will want to accomplish similar objectives, just for different industries.
- How does this headline align with my personal brand and does it effectively deliver my value proposition?
- Can potential customers gain an accurate yet concise understanding of what I do from my LinkedIn headline?
- Am I taking into account my target audience and buyers persona?
- Is my headline leveraging basic SEO fundamentals and how likely will my profile be to rank for the search phrases that matter most to me?
- How will people feel when they read my headline?
- Would I remember this headline compared to that of my competition?
On a platform of millions you can either be the crowd or you can be a shining star of captivating value. Taking the time to thoughtfully craft a headline that successfully represents your personal brand is not only a smart move in today’s crowded social media world but it’s also a fantastic way to attract the right people and raise awareness.
However, don’t stop at just creating a wow inducing headline. Go all in on creating a LinkedIn profile that showcases the amazing person that you are! LinkedIn is a B2B marketers paradise, a recruiters dream and above all; an amazing place to be for all growth minded professionals.
I hope this article has helped you to take your LinkedIn strategy to the next level and that you’re now a headline writing genius! Thank you for reading and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!